The Constitution is Just Fine Thank You Very Much

I saw this opinion written by guest poster Sanjeev Sabhlok and just about fell out of my chair. It relates to the Federal Parliament’s citizenship crisis and attempts to follow the ‘law is stupid’ line of argument:

Stop worshipping the Constitution. Please start thinking.

Citizenship is meaningless if it does not include the right to represent the community in parliament. Australia citizenship is arguably worthless since our constitution imposes restrictions on citizens who can contest elections.

But every policy must address a real problem. What is the evidence to date to back up this policy? How many Australian parliamentarians have been caught spying for communists? Indeed, such people are known to keep their intentions secret. A parliamentarian spying for North Korea is not going to take out N.Korean dual citizenship.

But there’s the other thing we seem to forget: that Australians are required to fight for our foreigner Queen. We can have a British Queen but an Australian who has British citizenship by decent is unfit to govern Australia?

And why is it that migrants like me become instantly fit to govern Australia but someone born and brought up here is not? When I came here as a permanent resident in December 2000, citizenship was on offer to me within two years. I decided to take it in 2005 after handing my Indian passport back to the Indian embassy. Therefore, within a few years of my landing up here, I became eligible to represent Australians.

But many of those who recently evicted from the parliament were born and brought up here. They paid taxes for the upkeep of Australia the whole of their life. They know all about this wonderful land and its people (I don’t even know the Australian national anthem). Many of these wonderful people have put a huge effort throughout their life to take this great country forward.

But they are not fit to represent Australians. I am.

Petty bureaucratic mania has overtaken Australia.

Otherwise sensible people in Australia have lost their head. What else would explain a desire to audit everyone’s citizenship status? Why stop there? Were all previous parliaments kosher? We should audit all previous parliaments and annul all laws passed during the previous century that may have been contaminated by these enemies of Australia.

We elect our representatives to think on our behalf, not to worship the Constitution. The Constitution has been very badly drafted in this case. The law is a farce. Instead of fixing it, our representatives are wasting precious parliamentary time in political point making. Stop it, please.

No Sanjeev. That’s a bad Sanjeev.

Please… allow me to retort…

Our Constitution does not unduly impose ‘restrictions on citizens who can contest elections’. To the contrary, any foreign citizenship issues a candidate may have are very easily resolved by the candidate inquiring into and renouncing any such foreign citizenship. But don’t take my word for it: here’s the High Court unanimously saying the exact same thing:

Finally, while it may be said that it is harsh to apply s 44(i) to disqualify a candidate born in Australia who has never had occasion to consider himself or herself as other than an Australian citizen and exclusively an Australian citizen, nomination for election is manifestly an occasion for serious reflection on this question; the nomination form for candidates for both the Senate and the House of Representatives requires candidates to declare that they are not rendered ineligible by s 44.

Suffice to say, if you have sub-Gump level IQ, and are incapable of working your way through this procedure, then Federal Parliament is not for you. Goodness knows the current batch of Federal politicians we have are hopeless enough as it is without needing to lower the bar for entry any further.

Next, the only reason there is a (perfectly valid) desire to ‘audit everyone’s citizenship status’ is because of the doubt created by the behavior of our bumbling Federal politicians. They only have themselves to blame, not the law. Indeed, if a car has been stationary for over 100 years and you plough right into it, then who do you think is going to have a bad time? The fact that further ineligible politicians are still leaking out (and only when dragged kicking and screaming) shows perfectly well why we need to immediately ascertain the legitimacy of all of our Federal politicians and preserve the integrity of parliament.

As for whether this all means that previous laws of Parliaments are invalid, who knows? Regrettably, this is what happens if people treat compliance with fundamental laws as optional and allow the fallout to fester. A country can only ever function as well as its citizens and politicians comply with its laws. That being said, something tells me that a current, legitimate Parliament could easily pass legislation retrospectively ratifying every law made or purportedly made by previous Parliaments. If that’s the case, then there’s no need to worry about any floodgates opening in this respect.

As for the side-issue of whether ineligible politicians should be required to pay their salaries back, that’s a tricky question. Last night, on 2GB, (at 25.50), Andrew Bolt offered the scenario of an electrician who had ‘done all this stuff’ and that ‘you’ve got no problem with the wiring whatsoever’ [TMR: both Andrew and I have plenty of problems with the ‘wiring’ of our Federal Parliament – but let’s put that to one side for the moment], only to discover years later that he didn’t have his certificate – to which Andrew asked ‘would you demand your money back?’.

Generally speaking, I’m not so bloodthirsty over this issue that I want to see a stack of Federal politicians potentially bankrupted over this issue. To me, trampling over somebody when they’re down is un-Australian (no matter how high up that person may have previously been).

That being said, I do offer up a the following like-for-like counter to Andrew’s above scenario. Under Western Australia’s building laws, if you provide building services (e.g. construction of a patio – see paragraphs 57 and 105 if you’re keen) without a valid building licence, you are not entitled to a cent from the customer and a court will force you to pay back everything you have received. You have no contractual right to payment, no right to quantum meruit, no claim for unjust enrighment – not a sausage. It’s harsh, but that’s the way it is.

I have little doubt that this principle is replicated in various other States and Territories and across various other industries. This then leads to the following question which ordinary citizens have every right to ask: if it’s good enough for us, is it not good enough for our politicians? It’s very difficult to argue against this and I can only leave it with you to make your own mind up.

Lastly, what’s with Sanjeev’s straw-man telling us to ‘stop worshipping the Constitution’? Who said anything about worshipping it? How about we simply continue to respect the Constitution as the highest law of our great country? Sorry Sanjeev, but you’ll have to forgive me any many others for doing exactly that and holding today’s politicians to account in complying with its provisions.

This entry was posted in Federal Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to The Constitution is Just Fine Thank You Very Much

  1. Mike of Marion

    They always trot out these half baked FW’s to try and smash what this country has as a foundation document.

    Give one inch and it will be soon wiped out.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    Usually laws are for the little people.
    This time the law is for politicians.
    I play my very small violin for them.

  3. Roger

    Note that Indian citizens who become citizens of another country forfeit their right to vote in Indian elections and are supposed to relinquish their passports and identification papers to the government. India takes the influence of foreign allegiances on their democracy even more seriously than we do. Good for them.

  4. RobK

    It is an embarrassment of the highest degree for the executive, as over burdened with lawyers, even of the constitutional kind, that they failed to ensure they operated in a safe, secure complient workplace. Respect is earned but not by these…..couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery.

  5. Tim Neilson

    Lastly, what’s with Sanjeev’s straw-man telling us to ‘stop worshipping the Constitution’? Who said anything about worshipping it?

    Exactly. I can assure Sanjeev that I don’t “worship” the speed limits on the Geelong/Melbourne road, but I don’t expect that I, or anyone else, should be exempt from the legal consequences if we’re caught breaking them.

  6. Viva

    Apparently there was no such thing as an Australian citizen at the time the Constitution was written only British citizenship. Australian citizenship was created much later via statute. Clearly it was never envisaged that British citizenship was ever regarded as being “foreign” by the Constitution’s authors. The interpretation of the High Court has wilfully ignored this and so these supposed wise heads have simply contributed to the chaos.

    It seems that poor political leadership isn’t the only burden Australians have to carry these days.

  7. Rabz

    Generally speaking, I’m not so bloodthirsty over this issue that I want to see a stack of Federal politicians potentially bankrupted

    I am.

  8. Howard Hill

    Generally speaking, I’m not so bloodthirsty over this issue that I want to see a stack of Federal politicians potentially bankrupted

    I am.

    LOL. All in favour say I.

    I

  9. Driftforge

    Citizenship is meaningless if it does not include the right to represent the community in parliament.

    Really? There’s a lot of citizens for whom the right to be a parliamentarian is valueless. Citizenship is a useful precondition for the granting of voting rights, but should hardly be considered sufficient. The right to stand for parliament should arguably be substantially harder to obtain.

    Australia citizenship is arguably worthless since our constitution imposes restrictions on citizens who can contest elections.

    And so it bloody well should. Arguably those restrictions aren’t significant enough, regardless of the current brouhaha which seems mostly the result of inadequate systems being left inadequate for a very long time.

  10. Kneel

    “Exactly. I can assure Sanjeev that I don’t “worship” the speed limits on the Geelong/Melbourne road, but I don’t expect that I, or anyone else, should be exempt from the legal consequences if we’re caught breaking them.”

    Just so.
    Politicians, being a completely different breed, clearly think differently, but only so far as it affects THEM.
    They will argue until blue in the face about the “intent” of the law, but would never entertain such should YOU be caught speeding. When YOU are caught speeding, it’s “you did the crime, now do the time”.

    Who wants to bet against them making some sort of retrospective change to non-constitutional laws to allow them to bypass this issue?
    Anyone?
    Anyone?
    Bueller?

  11. stackja

    The Constitution was written by colonists who did not foresee dual citizenship.
    Then the status of Australian nationality or Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 (in 1973 renamed the Australian Citizenship Act 1948), which came into force on 26 January 1949. Did Evatt create this dual citizenship problem? Or others overseas ?

  12. Pedro the Ignorant

    Hohohoho.

    Sanjeev stuck his head up over the parapet.

    Now he is getting his block knocked off.

    Gold.

  13. Pauly

    The problem as I see it is that the interpretation favored by the High Court basically means no one was eligible to sit in Australia’s parliament for at least the first 46 years of Australia’s history, as Australia did no issue it’s own passports until 1947.

    Further ithe court has decided that wasn’t until the early 1970s that an Australian citizen was distinctly not a British citizen, but the High Court has not said exactly when the change from being ‘British’ to being ‘Australian’ occurred.

    So by definition everyone in that time owed an allegiance to the foreign power “Britain” and not to “Australia”.
    My problem is that, as I understand the reasoning in the decision, is that it creates a situation where it would be impossible to establish an Australian government using the reasoning they adopted.

    So while the reasoning is logical and makes a large degree of sense based on the meanings of the words in the relevant section, it creates an absurd situation if it were to be applied that way at earlier times in Australia’s history. Since the drafters of the constitution obviously wanted Australia to have an elected parliament I have reservations about the interpretation adopted by the court.

    Having said all that, after this section was first used to kick out a One Nation senator, it should have been plainly clear to the bumbling buffoons that they all needed to make sure their own houses were in order.

  14. Roger

    Clearly it was never envisaged that British citizenship was ever regarded as being “foreign” by the Constitution’s authors. The interpretation of the High Court has wilfully ignored this and so these supposed wise heads have simply contributed to the chaos.

    Correct on the first part.

    As to the second, subsequently there have been several changes to citizenship law in both the Australia and the UK which mean the High Court cannot simply apply the understanding that pertained in 1901 to current UK-Australian dual nationals.

  15. jupes

    Actually, I’m with Steyn on this. The whole thing is ridiculous and certainly not what the writers of the constitution intended, rather the issue has degenerated due to moronic ‘interpretation’ from the High Court. As he says:

    Is this beginning to sound to you like bollocks on stilts? In breezily redefining Section 44 to mean a citizenship that was invented half-a-century after the law was written and whose anomalies and ambiguities persisted for another third-of-a-century after that, the modern High Court was engaging in a characteristic bit of post-colonial hyper-nationalism that has had the paradoxical effect of forcing not only the judges but the entire Australian political system to swear “allegiance to a foreign power”.

    WTWT – better analysis than anything written by an Australian. And yes, it does sound exactly like bollocks on stilts.

  16. FelixKruell

    I tend to agree with you, albeit note you didn’t address one of Sanjeev’s points:

    But there’s the other thing we seem to forget: that Australians are required to fight for our foreigner Queen. We can have a British Queen but an Australian who has British citizenship by decent is unfit to govern Australia?

    That does seem an anomalous outcome of this part of the Constitution.

  17. Diogenes

    Ok , lets strictly apply Sect 44(i).

    Anybody prepared to challenge the whole house under section 44(i) using the “rights and privileges of a subject of New Zealand” argument raised by Robert Angyal ?

  18. WolfmanOz

    100% spot on marcus !

  19. Pauly

    The other issue, is that the High Court applied their minds to birthright issues of citizenship. However, there are countries where you have the right to become a citizen by marrying a citizen of that country. And it gets murkier if there are offspring from a relationship as a non citizen parent can have citizenship rights if their child is/can be a citizen of a different country.

    The operation as interpreted by the High Court can lead to farcical outcomes that can be triggered by events after a person is validly elected to parliament.

  20. stackja

    Pauly
    #2546962, posted on November 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm
    The other issue, is that the High Court applied their minds to birthright issues of citizenship. However, there are countries where you have the right to become a citizen by marrying a citizen of that country. And it gets murkier if there are offspring from a relationship as a non citizen parent can have citizenship rights if their child is/can be a citizen of a different country.

    The operation as interpreted by the High Court can lead to farcical outcomes that can be triggered by events after a person is validly elected to parliament.

    HC has other reasons?

  21. Roger

    That does seem an anomalous outcome of this part of the Constitution.

    Part of our historical legacy which we have had to adapt over time as circumstances have changed.

    Thus since 1973 HM Elizabeth II is, for our constitutional purposes, Queen of Australia. And with the introduction of Australian citizenship in 1948/9 and more changes to Australian and British law re citizenship subsequently, UK citizenship by descent took on a different cast from the old understanding of “British subject”, so that such people are no longer entitled to nominate for a seat in the Commonwealth parliament.

    Most Australians – except some politicians – understand and accept the historical and political reasons for this apparent anomaly and happily live with it.

    The claim that Australians are “forced to fight for our foreigner Queen” (who uses such language in regard to the Queen who doesn’t have a republican ax to grind?) was debunked on the OT.

  22. stackja

    Roger
    #2546969, posted on November 8, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Mr Lisa?

  23. FelixKruell

    Roger:

    The claim that Australians are “forced to fight for our foreigner Queen” (who uses such language in regard to the Queen who doesn’t have a republican ax to grind?) was debunked on the OT.

    Put it this way – the Queen of Australia wouldn’t be entitled to sit in the Australian Parliament under our constitution. Kind of makes a mockery of the purpose behind s.44?

  24. Another little revelation for Sanjeev: I do NOT vote for any politician to “THINK” for me. I vote for one of the usually poor choices that I consider might not do the worst job of REPRESENTING me and my interests in my parliament. That’s how a “representative democracy” is supposed to work. I do my own thinking, thank you.

    (Apologies for the capitals, but I really do want Mr. Sanjeev to understand this point.)

  25. Put it this way – the Queen of Australia wouldn’t be entitled to sit in the Australian Parliament under our constitution. Kind of makes a mockery of the purpose behind s.44?

    A dumb point. Anyone that holds that office is excluded given the separation of powers implications.

  26. Diogenes

    As I have said on other threads on this subject ….
    assuming I were in Parliament having taken “all reasonable steps” to renounce the citizenships I am entitled to, but have not taken up , and AFAIK , the 3 governments in question have no idea I even exist.

    Tomorrow, say Russia, decides that because my grandmother was born in Tsarist Russia (Riga prior to 1914) I am automatically a Russian citizen. My grandmother would start rotating her grave to be considered Russian (like Dad & the Romanians, my grandmother loathed Russians in general & communists especially) , she was ethnically German, which is why she ended up in Siberia, in a gulag as an enemy of the state.

    As I have asked before, and to which I have received no satisfactory answer
    1. How would I even know this has happened?
    2. Would I have to resign until I renounced this citizenship ?
    3. How often would I need to check that this hasn’t happened

    I could write to the Russian Embassy in Canberra, or the Russian Interior Ministry and say something like “Legally my grandmother was born a Russian, but lost that when she went into the gulag, and married my grandfather (a Hungarian WW1 POW), and she was considered a stateless person in 1953 when she came to Australia, and when she was naturalised renounced all other citizenships, please pretty please, just in case you ever change the law, retroactively restoring her citizenship and automatically making me a citizen – I renounce” . I will give you a guess as to which filing cabinet that will go into (hint it will have an open top & be emptied daily)

  27. Slayer of Memes

    Put it this way – the Queen of Australia wouldn’t be entitled to sit in the Australian Parliament under our constitution. Kind of makes a mockery of the purpose behind s.44?

    The Queen of England is also not entitled to sit in the English Parliament either….

    So what?

  28. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    A dumb point. Anyone that holds that office is excluded given the separation of powers implications.

    Urgh. Try to overlook that part for now.

    Section 44 was designed to ensure no split allegiance by our politicians. Because we want our politicians to only serve Australian interests (let’s pretend they do that). Yet that same standard isn’t applied to our head of state. The Queen can qualify as our head of state, despite her split allegiances. She can’t qualify as a member of our parliament however, because of her split allegiances.

  29. jupes

    As I have asked before, and to which I have received no satisfactory answer
    1. How would I even know this has happened?
    2. Would I have to resign until I renounced this citizenship ?
    3. How often would I need to check that this hasn’t happened

    Yep. It has degenerated into a farce. Or as Steyn put it:

    Alternatively, Kim Jong-un could simply pronounce all seven billion people on the planet North Korean Overseas Citizens, and there’d be no one on earth allowed to stand for election in Australia. Go for it, Rocketman!

  30. jupes

    I am far more concerned with the ‘foreign power’ of Islam than the non-foreign non-power of New Zealand.

    If the High Court booted all Muslims from parliament and left the Kiwis and Canadians alone, it would be a more accurate ‘interpretation’ of the constitution.

  31. Malcolm Thomas

    Marcus suffers from several delusions, bit the one most evident here is that the law, irrespective of how unjust, irrelevant or out-of-date, must be ‘respected’ Presumably he thought men should be imprisoned for having consentual sex for all those years the anti-homosexuality laws remained on the books too. Dumb lawyers.

  32. Senile Old Guy

    Marcus suffers from several delusions, bit the one most evident here is that the law, irrespective of how unjust, irrelevant or out-of-date, must be ‘respected’.

    No-one has demonstrated that the provisions in the Constitution are “unjust, irrelevant or out-of-date”. Why is requiring people nominating for,and serving in, Parliament to be citizens only of Australia “unjust, irrelevant or out-of-date”? I am probably a dual-citizen, or at least have the possibility of being so, and would have to fix that if one day I went insane and decided to stand for election. (And, in my case, it would not be difficult to either check or remedy.)

  33. Leo G

    How about we simply continue to respect the Constitution as the highest law of our great country?

    Possibly because, although the text of the Constitution is recorded in an Act of Parliament, the Constitution is not law. Rather it provides a record of the agreement between the States and the Federal government about the way the federation was to operate.
    S44 is not itself law but a constitutional guideline.
    Moreover, I believe that the High Court is currently applying the section inconsistently and too literally.
    If the recent ruling was consistent, any Australian who could qualify for temporary residence in a foreign country would not qualify to be a federal MP. Taken with other restrictions, no-one would be qualified.

  34. Urgh. Try to overlook that part for now.

    Section 44 was designed to ensure no split allegiance by our politicians. Because we want our politicians to only serve Australian interests (let’s pretend they do that). Yet that same standard isn’t applied to our head of state. The Queen can qualify as our head of state, despite her split allegiances. She can’t qualify as a member of our parliament however, because of her split allegiances.

    The Crown is not a politician. The Crown acts under the advice of Australian ministers of the Crown. The Crown doesn’t have split allegiances.

  35. Actually, it appears you still don’t understand my first point. If the Queen abdicated her office and renounced her British citizenship, she could qualify as a member of Parliament.

  36. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    The Crown is not a politician. The Crown acts under the advice of Australian ministers of the Crown. The Crown doesn’t have split allegiances.

    Why does that mean the Crown can’t have split allegiances? Were we to go to war with England, the Crown would most certainly have split allegiances. And any conventions around acting in accordance with the advice of Australian Ministers might well go out the window.

  37. rtp

    They introduced No Jab No Pay – the most vile piece of social engineering (and please don’t tell me that non-vaxers have no right to welfare as you all know the point of the policy wasn’t to save money but to force people to have a medical procedure they didn’t want) in this country’s history and every single one of them should be in prison.

    Paying back every cent of what they earnt is the least they should be doing.

  38. stackja

    No vaxxers still around?

  39. Paridell

    “British citizenship by decent” – love it!

  40. Tim Neilson

    Marcus suffers from several delusions, bit the one most evident here is that the law, irrespective of how unjust, irrelevant or out-of-date, must be ‘respected’

    Yes it must be “respected” in the sense that Marcus clearly meant. He’s not saying that people must subjectively feel veneration for it, he’s saying that people must accept that until and unless it’s changed it can and should be enforced. Nothing is more conducive to tyranny and totalitarianism than laws that are enforced only when the authorities decide to do so.

    S44 is not itself law but a constitutional guideline.

    Sorry Leo but that’s just plain wrong.

  41. J.H.

    Secondly, despite what Sanjeev thinks, the British Commonwealth and the United Kingdom is not a “Foreign Power” to Australia. We are a part of it…. and we are the better for it, especially considering the past.

    What Sanjeev needs to understand is the Anglosphere portion of the New World is successful because of English liberalism, English jurisprudence, Christianity and English culture. Compare the Iberian New World to the Anglo New World and the differences are as stark as chalk and cheese.

    There are too many Ecofascists and Socialists eager for the opportunity to codify and legitimize their vile ideologies now to be mucking around with our Constitution. It’s fine… Just fill out your bloody paperwork properly if you want to be a member of Australia’s Parliamentary system. It’s not a big thing to ask really. It certainly doesn’t warrant a Constitutional change.

  42. A Lurker

    I am far more concerned with the ‘foreign power’ of Islam than the non-foreign non-power of New Zealand.

    The ‘foreign power’ of International Communism is likewise just as concerning.
    Too many overseas vested interests corrupting our Parliament.

  43. Dave

    “Australian’s are required to fight for our foreign Queen”. That statement alone should see one’s citizenship revoked.

    This really gets to the heart of the matter. Cut through all the legal gymnastics. Section 44 is designed to ensure that our politicians are loyal to our people. Our people, and the people of the British Isles being the same thing. They are ‘foreingers’ like a Victorian is a foreigner to a Tasmanian.

    The Queen lives in England, but is not a ‘foreigner’ in any true sense of the word. We owe her our alliegiance, and every single man who enlisted in both world wars swore that oath.

    The only legal hurdle as far as I am concerned would be Britain joining the EU originally. That could rightly be acting on foreign interests from an Australian perspective. That is now I hope coming to an end, so problem solved.

    I don’t see how a new Zealander, Canadian or Briton could act against Australian interests, outside perhaps of a trade deal that costs one nation over another. That wasn’t the intent of section 44 however. It reflects a security concern. If you betrayed England, you betrayed all the Lion Cubs too. We are from the same stock of people, and for the few of us who were not ultimately from the British isles, they came to our lands to adopt all of those traits and beliefs. Hence the need to include that section to ensure the loyalty of any non British citizens in future who sought office.

  44. Leo G

    S44 is not itself law but a constitutional guideline.

    Sorry Leo but that’s just plain wrong.

    I recall the defeat of a recent referendum which proposed to make the Constitution enforceable as law.

  45. Rococo Liberal

    The High Court fucked up. But that’s the problem with Constitutional law. it isn’t like real law. it is instead really a political matter decided by lots of humming and hawing.
    The idea that somehow statute law can change the Constitution, which is what this silly decision implies, is completely wrong.

  46. Driftforge

    Put it this way – the Queen of Australia wouldn’t be entitled to sit in the Australian Parliament under our constitution.

    Why would she demean herself so?

    And — having an external, maternal, sovereign is about as good a final reserve of power as one can find to secure a system of government. One of the few cockups in our constitution was introducing the notion that the government of the day should have any power whatsoever over the office of Governor-General.

  47. Waz

    A federal politician told me this week that the High Court “got it wrong”, to which I pointed out it can’t be wrong by definition (being the highest court it is always right despite what we might want it to do)…..it is what it is. Personally I’m glad these Canberra smucks have been been stuck with an ugly bit of compliance. More that half my “income producing” activities are spent doing rotten boring compliance shit which all the polies have been stuffing into pointless laws for eons. A pox on them.

  48. Leo G

    … being the highest court it is always right despite what we might want it to do…

    In one sense, the highest court in a democracy is the electorate when deciding a political question- as in a referendum. The Parliament is similarly a high court, albeit a lesser one to the electorate. In the UK, the formal name of the parliament is “The High Court of Parliament”.

  49. Tim Neilson

    I recall the defeat of a recent referendum which proposed to make the Constitution enforceable as law.

    What referendum are you talking about?

    The Constitution is enforceable at law, in the same way as any other law, i.e. where there’s a justiciable dispute between parties with standing. How else do cases involving the Constitution get to the High Court? Why isn’t the Communist Party banned in accordance with the 1950’s law? Why aren’t the banks nationalised?

  50. J.H.

    Waz wrote: “A federal politician told me this week that the High Court “got it wrong”, to which I pointed out it can’t be wrong by definition (being the highest court it is always right despite what we might want it to do)”

    Wrong Waz, laws and high courts can be wrong and it is the moral duty of a citizen to disobey immoral laws…. That was the finding of the Nuremberg Court.

    The Nuremberg ruling were that Laws and orders from superiors only mitigate responsibility, it does not exonerate responsibility…. So in the end, our Christian morality is the highest authority in the land.

    Thou shalt not murder. The killing of the innocent is murder and is utterly immoral and is a cornerstone of Christian morality, just as the concept that all people are equal before the eyes of God became the concept for, all people are equal before the law, which is a cornerstone for Western Jurisprudence.

    So…. Yes. High Courts certainly can get it wrong…. 🙂

  51. Leo G

    I recall the defeat of a recent referendum which proposed to make the Constitution enforceable as law.

    What referendum are you talking about?

    I was referring to the 1999 Republic Referendum and its associated alteration of the Constitution:-

    Constitution Alteration (Establishment of Republic) 1999
    126 Operation of Constitution and laws
    This Constitution, and all laws made under it by the Parliament, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State.

  52. Paul

    If they can’t work within the constitution, then our pollies are the problem, not the constitution.
    The pollies can always make changes to the constitution by a referendum, but we all know how hard that is, because the pollies are always trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
    They don’t trust us and neither should we trust them.

  53. Rob MW

    Suffice to say, if you have sub-Gump level IQ, and are incapable of working your way through this procedure, then Federal Parliament is not for you.

    Personally I blame the education system. Fancy being unable or unwilling to do the simplest of things before a job interview. Even the scary pin-cushioned facial stud implant brigade know to take the fucking things out before trying out a new boss.

    To all wannabe Federal Politicians: Do your fucking homework !!

  54. Tim Neilson

    I was referring to the 1999 Republic Referendum and its associated alteration of the Constitution:-

    Constitution Alteration (Establishment of Republic) 1999
    126 Operation of Constitution and laws
    This Constitution, and all laws made under it by the Parliament, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State.

    That wasn’t to give the Constitution the force of law, which it already had. It was to try to cause Commonwealth laws to override State laws in any case of conflict (not only where the Constitution had already given Commonwealth laws primacy).

  55. Leo G

    That wasn’t to give the Constitution the force of law, which it already had. It was to try to cause Commonwealth laws to override State laws in any case of conflict…

    I believe you are in error.
    The present clause 5 of the Constitution Act purports to give the Constitution Act the force of law (incidentally a logical absurdity of the Russell Paradox variety), but not the Constitution itself. Clause 9 of the Act merely provides the text of the Constitution as an inclusion.
    Moreover, the covering clauses of the Constitution Act were not ratified by referendum, only the Constitution itself. Neither is there now any basis to regard the force of those clauses to derive from the legal sovereignty of the British Parliament over Australian Law.

  56. Habib

    I’m all for every razoo being wrung out of these incompetent, malfeasant frauds, and then some. Also any half-witted and unnecessary legislation passed by them declared illegal and void. Then we should look at making it even harder to sleaze into a position of power over others- how about not only having to be solely an Australian citizen, but also to have been a net taxpayer from the age of fifteen, to have performed at minimum volunteer service at the local state or federal level, never been a staffer for an existing timeserver, to be subject to recall if the electorate votes as a majority, and limited to two terms. Any act of corruption would result in being loaded into a trebuchet and launched into the Jardine River at dusk while covered in meat, and any act of imbecility in policy or legislation would render the member personally liable for costs and losses. See how many of these venal douchenozzles line up for pre-selection then.

  57. Snoopy

    I learned to water ski in the Jardine River. Quickly.

  58. Why does that mean the Crown can’t have split allegiances? Were we to go to war with England, the Crown would most certainly have split allegiances. And any conventions around acting in accordance with the advice of Australian Ministers might well go out the window.

    Let us entertain this extreme and unlikely circumstance. If relations deteriorated to such an extent that we would declare war on the UK, by such an at we would have renounced her as our Sovereign, because in attacking the UK, we would be attacking the Sovereign.

  59. BorisG

    I am of two minds about this saga. On one hand, I do agree that people with dual loyalty should probably be excluded. On the other hand, the way to is interpreted is beyond ridiculous. People who were born here, never lived in the UK etc. are being treated as dual citizens because their parents came from there as children. There must be a limit to this.

    On the other hand it appears easy to either renounce such citizenship or to take reasonable steps to that effect.

  60. OneWorldGovernment

    BorisG
    #2547465, posted on November 9, 2017 at 2:03 am

    I am of two minds about this saga. On one hand, I do agree that people with dual loyalty should probably be excluded. On the other hand, the way to is interpreted is beyond ridiculous. People who were born here, never lived in the UK etc. are being treated as dual citizens because their parents came from there as children. There must be a limit to this.

    On the other hand it appears easy to either renounce such citizenship or to take reasonable steps to that effect.

    BorisG

    There is a long and storied history of ‘sleeper’ enemies.

    Most were connected to Russia.

    Nowadays I would look at Africa, Arabs and Muslims.

  61. struth

    The Australia act and citizenship acts are invalid where they conflict with the constitution.

    Our constitution clearly states you are able to sit in our parliament from a Commonwealth country.
    Any of them.
    Has that been changed by referendum?
    No.
    Until it gets changed by referendum it stands.

    See the problem the have?

    The various Australia acts regarding citzenship, and in fact the very status of this country were unconstitutional and why so many here are confused.
    And why our elites are in such a pickle.
    The name of this country on our constitution is the Commonwealth of Australia.
    British and NZ and Scottish etc are not foreign powers and people from them that landed here last week are eligible themselves to stand for parliament as is the unchanged by referendum law of the land.
    Full stop.
    Your politicians are working under unconstitutional law and an unconstitutional changing of the status of this country.
    Section 44 is all about allegiance to the Commonwealth of Australia.
    Not the mythical Australia.
    Once you get that, all is clear as to just why the pollies find themselves in such a situation as to not want too close an examination of this and why all from the judiciary to the pollies wantvthis to just go away.
    It’s huge if the common folk start looking too closely at this.
    Yet opposition pollies can’t let it go because they may be able to bring down their opposition with it.
    They have been living and grabbing power from unconstitutional fake law for so long yet it is their own ranks turningvon each other that could bring the whole thing crashing down.

  62. Clam Chowdah

    Suffice to say, if you have sub-Gump level IQ, and are incapable of working your way through this procedure, then Federal Parliament is not for you.

    There it is. These mouth breathers can’t do due diligence and want to run the show? Cry me a river you retards.

  63. Penguinte

    The Australian Constitution and many other successful democracies stem from the Magna Carta of 1215! That’s nearly a thousand years of history that cannot and must not be ignored on a whim of polititians striving for an easy solution. Our Constitution has served us well for 200 years . Obey it!

  64. Wilma

    We can presume apparently that in a country not 150 years old that Australia’s founding Fathers and all in the first elected parliament had four Grand Parents and Two parents all born in Australia?

  65. Tim Neilson

    Leo, why are’t the banks nationalised? Why isn’t the Communist Party banned? (Or, conversely, why is any law purportedly enacted by the Commonwealth Parliament valid?) Answer: because the Constitution has the force of law in Australia and so parties with a sufficient interest in any justiciable matter to which the Constitution is relevant can rely on it, the same as they can rely on any other rule of law.

    The mistake you are making is to conflate “statute” with “law”, which simply isn’t valid in any common law based system. Try reading HLA Hart’s “The Concept of Law”.

  66. JohnA

    How many times must the error be refuted?

    As for whether this all means that previous laws of Parliaments are invalid, who knows? Regrettably, this is what happens if people treat compliance with fundamental laws as optional and allow the fallout to fester. A country can only ever function as well as its citizens and politicians comply with its laws. That being said, something tells me that a current, legitimate Parliament could easily pass legislation retrospectively ratifying every law made or purportedly made by previous Parliaments. If that’s the case, then there’s no need to worry about any floodgates opening in this respect.

    There is a long-standing legal principle to the effect that decisions and actions of any corporate body which have been made/taken in accordance with the normal or proper procedures of the body, retain their essential character and legal enforceability despite (or are not invalidated because of) any defect in the appointment of its members.

    I believe this has been extended in some areas: one nifty example is that a cheque (as defined in the Cheques Act, not the Bills of Exchange Act) does not actually require the signature of an “authorised” person if it has been prepared in accordance with the organisation’s normal procedures for making payments. Banks, of course, being their own law, use the “authorised” signature as evidence that the procedures have actually been followed. (But I won’t start on banks, signatures, crossings and endorsements.)

  67. Leo G

    Answer: because the Constitution has the force of law in Australia…

    I already have pointed to evidence that The Constitution itself does not have the force of law in Australia.
    The proposed 1999 changes to the Constitution clearly demonstrated an intent to make the Constitution part of our statute law, albeit by invalidly pulling itself up by its own bootstraps (and after the fact too).
    It appears that the force of law in constitutional matters lies more in the decisions of the judges of the High Court than in the Constitution itself- ie it has the appearance of acting through common law. As I suggested, our Constitution appears to be a guide, not a set of explicit laws.

  68. Roger

    We can presume apparently that in a country not 150 years old that Australia’s founding Fathers and all in the first elected parliament had four Grand Parents and Two parents all born in Australia?

    British subjects; Britain not a foreign power until the Australia Act.

    Do try to keep up.

  69. Tim Neilson

    I already have pointed to evidence that The Constitution itself does not have the force of law in Australia.

    And I have already explained why that is a misinterpretation.
    But no matter….

    It appears that the force of law in constitutional matters lies more in the decisions of the judges of the High Court than in the Constitution itself-

    Yes, but that’s the same with any rule of law. People don’t have to pay fines or go to jail unless they’re given the opportunity to go to Court, and the Court interprets the law as applying to their circumstances so as to attract a fine or jail sentence. The banks escaped nationalisation not because the High Court made some arbitrary hoc volo sic iubeo decision to waive the nationalisation legislation, they escaped because the Courts applied the Constitution as a rule of law. Read the judgements if you don’t believe me.

    Sure, the High Court gives some weird interpretations of the Constitution, but the Courts do that with all laws. International commentators were bemused by the Chevron decision, but that doesn’t mean that the transfer pricing rules in the tax legislation don’t have the force of law.

  70. PB

    “Section 44 was designed to ensure no split allegiance by our politicians.”
    A good point, so when will “sick leave” Danby be removed from the Parliament? Seems some are less “dual” than others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *